|  Lab: Material Performance

The demand for non-toxic building products is encouraging manufacturers to replace “worst offender” chemicals with safer alternatives. This presents an opportunity for manufacturers to innovate with greener chemistry. Transparency (ingredient disclosure) in the building industry has been growing, pressuring manufacturers to disclose more about the composition of products than ever before. The public’s alarm about “hidden dangers” lurking in their cleaning products, personal care products, and in the built environment reinforces the need for transparency. A reformulation that utilizes chemistry with a less hazardous class of substances firmly differentiates the new product from the old and offers a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A common obstacle to achieving this innovation, however, is lack of data. The Data Commons is a collaborative effort to identify substances that are hazardous to human and environmental health, in order to find safer alternatives.